Discover Mechanical

How do I check my wiper blades?

Person inspecting the condition of the wiper blades on a passenger car.

Here, we discuss car wiper blades. Are yours in proper working order?

With the additional time many of us are currently spending at home, perhaps you are looking for jobs to do this weekend? At home, car maintenance checks are a simple way to ensure that your vehicle is performing as it should.
Previously, we have discussed headlight and air filter checks. Now, as the cold and often wet weather settles in, it is a good time to assess the condition and working order of your wiper blades.
Wiper blade maintenance is simple to do and will greatly assist in visibility, reliability and efficiency. You should ensure that your wiper blades are in good working order prior to those instances when they are most needed.

Can you recall when your wiper blades were last replaced?

You should replace your wiper blades every 6 to 12 months. Functioning wiper blades are integral to the safe performance of your vehicle.
If you can’t recall when you last replaced them and are experiencing smears and blurs on your windscreen then now may well be the time.

When inspecting your wiper blades, look for the following:

Wiper blades deteriorate over time, through use, as well as environmental factors. Stress caused by extreme temperatures, water and constant exposure to UV radiation from the sun all take their toll on your wiper blades.
When you give your wiper blades a quick visual inspection, check for the following:
  • Frame arms that have become detached at the joints or connection points
  • Corroded metal, particularly at the joints and claws
  • Visible signs of cracks, tears, and missing pieces in the rubber squeegee’s edge
  • Rounded edges on the wiping edge of the squeegee, which can prevent the wiper blade from making strong contact with the windshield, reducing wipe quality

Common issues to be aware of:

When your wiper blades no longer make correct contact with the windshield surface, they will begin to squeak, chatter, skip, smear or streak. This will have a noticeable impact on your visibility as a driver.
Common wiper blade issues and the reasons they occur include:
  • Skipping - a permanent curve in the rubber as a result of infrequent use
  • Wearing - excessive use, or simply the general age of the wiper blade
  • Splitting - typically found on old blades as a result of exposure to the sun’s UV rays
  • Bent refill vertebra and frames - sometimes caused by automatic car washes, it creates an inconsistent contact pattern with the glass surface of the windshield, causing streaks 
Car wiper blades on a wet windshield.

Simple maintenance tips for your wiper blades:

Dirt and grime, such as tree sap, sand, mud and dust can build up on the rubber of your blades, causing them to prematurely erode. As a result, they may leave smears on your vehicle’s windshield. You can help prolong the life of your wiper blades by cleaning them with a damp cloth every three months to remove this dirt and grime.
Whenever possible, do not use your wiper blades to remove ice and frost from your windscreen in the colder months. Instead, we recommend that you use an ice scraper.
When you are at the petrol station filling up on fuel, give your windscreen a quick clean. This will also assist in the removal of built-up dirt and grime.

Is your vehicle due for a general safety check?

At your local BestDrive store, our general safety check includes assessing the condition of your wiper blades. Our experienced and qualified technicians will identify any possible safety hazards that may cause costly and potentially dangerous issues if left unchecked.
BestDrive. You drive, we care.

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